One of the most respected and talented artists in the music industry, J. Cole, has released his long awaited album “The Offseason”. The album is twelve tracks long with two of those songs “interlude” and “the. climb. back” being singles released prior to the album.
Cole started out the album with “95. South” a song perfectly fit as an intro with plenty of bars to digest. Some lines go after young rappers, one of these lines being “Look how everybody clapping when your thirty-song album do a measly hundred thou” a clear shot at rappers releasing larger albums in hopes of more album sales. It also picks up in pace near the end of the track from a slow style to a more aggressive style in his vocals. Track two “amari” is where Cole really showed he was back as this song is full of bars and great flow. The only problem with the track for me is its length, as it’s so good just not long enough being only around two and a half minutes. Track three “my . life” is truly a masterpiece with Cole doing his thing rapping what seemed like non stop before some beautiful vocals come in from Morray. Cole was not expected to have any features on the album as the tracklist had none, this track however had two with Morray and then 21 Savage putting together a great verse to wrap up the song. This easily makes it one of the best songs of the album to me and got me even more hooked to the album on my first listen. Track four is “applying. pressure” and Cole once again has more bars to really listen to, one of the lines is being “Just know these verses they gonna forever play back.” Applying pressure is an important name as that is also the name of his documentary he released earlier in the week leading up to the album.
Track five is “punchin’. the. clock” one of the shorter tracks on the album clocking in at just under 2 minutes. The song is pretty solid but the name is him obviously alluding to the fact he isn’t slowing down as he gets older. Track six “100. mil” is another one of my personal favorites with him flexing his work ethic. The hook of the song is “100 mill and I’m still on the grind” showing even with all the money he’s made he’s still working hard. Track seven “pride. is. the. devil…” is a great song although being maybe Cole’s worst performance on the album. This is due to another surprise feature by Lil Baby who has been one of the hottest artists out today. He put together a solid verse as he usually does on features. Track eight is the last track before the two pre-released singles “let. go. my. hand.” which is a relaxed song that is actually very deep and has gained a lot of attention from the public after its release. With many bars that have double meanings and lots to try and decipher Cole did let everyone know the highly speculated altercation with rapper P. Diddy did in fact happen. He even says on the track how he was actually a big fan of him as a kid which makes the situation a little worse considering an idol of his as a kid is who he got into it with. After the two pre-released singles the final two tracks “close” and “hunger. on. hillside” are two beautiful closing tracks and some of my favorites. “hunger. on. hillside” especially caught my attention and really felt like the perfect closer to a great album.
Cole’s comeback into the rap game with “The Offseason” was quite impressive as to me this is the best album of 2021 so far. I rate “The Offseason” 9/10 as it was not a perfect album but not one song was bad and I really enjoyed it all.